Thanks to upgrades from Jaguar-Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO), the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 cracks 200 mph.
What’s going on?
The Jaguar XE is a compelling alternative to the compact luxury sports sedan perennials from Germany. But ever since the XE came out, there hasn’t been a competitor to the high-performance variants of the Germans such as the BMW M3, Audi S4, and Mercedes-AMG C-Class…until now.
Meet the all-new Jaguar XE SV Project 8, the most powerful and agile road-going Jaguar ever made.
As the first hand-assembled model by SVO, the new Jaguar XE SV Project 8 is the culmination of Jaguar-Land Rover’s $25 million investment into the SVO Technical Center in Warwickshire, UK. Basically, the it’s the performance branch to Jaguar, like Mercedes-AMG is to Mercedes-Benz, and BMW M Division to BMW.
“SVO’s raison d’être is to produce halo vehicles that push the boundaries in terms of luxury, performance and all-terrain capability. Project 8 is a great example of what happens when enthusiastic designers, engineers and manufacturing specialists are given the opportunity to create an extreme performance sports car without compromise,” said John Edwards in the car’s launch statement, the managing director for J-LR Special Operations. “Project 8 will be assembled by hand in the new SVO Technical Center, and we’re confident that our enthusiastic and demanding clients will love driving Project 8 as much we do!”
What’s cool about it?
The first thing you’ll notice about the Jaguar XE SV Project 8, besides its radiant orange hue, is the bonkers boy-racer performance kit. The front lower fascia gains a new look with odd-looking vents meant to gobble up massive volumes of air for cooling and aerodynamics. But more so, the entire kit reduces the weight of the XE, thanks to extensive use of carbon fiber for both front and rear bumpers, the adjustable rear wing, and the rear diffuser.
Under the hood sits the latest and greatest iteration of Jaguar’s ubiquitous AJ-V8, displacing 5.0-liters and with support from a supercharger, producing 592 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. Those 592 horses go through a ZF-sourced eight-speed Quickshift automatic and all-wheel traction to help put the power down. Jaguar claims a top speed of over 200 mph and a 0-60 time of 3.3 seconds.
Though carbon-based materials don’t just find themselves in body parts. The Jaguar XE SV Project 8 also comes standard with Jaguar’s latest Carbon Ceramic Brake system, making it the first Jaguar to feature the system. The CCB system also works in tandem with the stability and traction control and the Electronic Active Differential with Torque Vectoring by Braking to counter understeer. In simplified terms, the XE SV Project 8 basically utilizes braking power to simulate what a typical, mechanical limited-slip differential and stability control would do under aggressive cornering. But now, the systems work more with each other and are optimized for increased performance.
While you can get into the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 and just go anywhere like a bat out of hell, Jaguar equipped the vehicle with fully adjustable Continuously Variable Dampers in the suspension. Owners can adjust the ride height and shock stiffness, making it the most track-biased SVO car to date. Additionally, other details include a swap out of various bushings and bits for more expensive more capable ones to help reduce mass and improve handling response and precision.
On the inside, the Project 8 features four seats only, versus the standard XE’s five. Up front sit magnesium-framed Performance seats with contrast stitching and Premium Jet leather, complemented by Miko suedecloth trim. Alcantara festoons surfaces such as the dashboard, door panels, and steering wheel. And although the Project 8 is performance oriented, there’s still plenty of Jaguar swag to keep things luxurious.
A 10.2-inch tablet-like touchscreen comes standard for the Jaguar InControl Touch Pro infotainment system. For those keeping tabs on track times, there’s even an integrated stopwatch and telemetry application to help bolster track-day bets with friends. Above it all, the Project 8 is also one fast 4G WiFi hotspot.
When can I get one?
Jaguar-Land Rover SVO claims only 300 of these Project 8s will hit production worldwide and only in left-hand drive. Prices aren’t available just yet, but that should surface closer to the car’s launch, following its debut at the 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed. And expect to be high.
– By: Chris Chin
Jaguar XE SV Project 8 Specifications
|TECHNICAL DATA||JAGUAR XE SV PROJECT 8|
|ENGINE & TRANSMISSION9|
|Engine capacity (cc)||5,000|
|Layout||V8 Supercharged gasoline|
|Power||592HP @ 6,500rpm|
|Torque||516- lb. ft. @ 3,500-5,000rpm|
|Transmission||8-speed Quickshift automatic, All-Wheel Drive, Stop/Start|
|Front and rear suspension||Front: independent, double wishbones, adjustable coil springs, CVD dampers
Rear: independent, Integral Link, adjustable coil springs, CVD dampers
|Front brakes||15.7-in/400mm Carbon Ceramic Braking discs, six-piston sliding caliper|
|Rear brakes||15.6-in/396mm Carbon Ceramic Braking discs, single-piston sliding caliper|
|Wheels and tires||Front: 9.5 x 20in forged alloy, 265/35 R20 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2
Rear: 11 x 20in forged alloy, 305/30 R20 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2
|Length||185.6-in / 4,713mm|
|Width including mirrors||81.7-in / 2,075mm|
|Width excluding Mirrors||76.9-in / 1,954mm|
|Road Height||56.5-in / 1,436mm|
|Track Height||55.9-in / 1,421mm|
|Wheelbase||111.6-in / 2,835mm|
|Weight||From 3,847-lbs / 1,745kg|